But you don't have to be conservative to be angry at the rollout. Yes, liberals believe that government is a powerful tool for improving the lives of people. But we don't believe in wanton waste of taxpayer dollars. Yet HealthCare.gov cost over $500 million (and counting) as the Canadian contractor overseeing the biggest chunk of the project has taken advantage of its open-ended contract to deliver a non-working product for ever-increasing rates:
The company [CGI] – the largest tech company in Canada with subsidiaries around the world – was initially awarded a $93.7m contract, but now the potential total value for CGI's work has reportedly tripled, reaching nearly $292m.I won't absolve Republicans entirely for this mess, as it is their outsourcing fetish and hostility to government workers that have created a contractor culture that is fleecing the American taxpayers. But Republicans aren't in charge of Health and Human Services. Democrats are. And there were plenty of signs that CGI was generally incompetent, such as this:
Last year, the Canadian province of Ontario fired CGI and canceled a $46 million contract, accusing the company of failing to build an online medical registry on time.By all means, please, bet the success of the most important Democratic initiative in decades on that company ...
Half a billion for a website is double what Facebook raised in investor capital before it went public. In technology terms, it's an obscene amount, and infinitely worse given what was delivered. Now, we're throwing more money at the same people who caused the problem to fix what never should've been broken to begin with.
For those of us who care about good governance, this situation is untenable. The site will be fixed, the law will ultimately be fine. But if Democrats stand for good, effective governance, there must be accountability for this mess—both against the contractors who screwed things up, and with the bureaucrats and administration officials that let the situation get to this point.